F.O.R. (Food, Opportunity and Resources) Maricopa has been in existence since 2007, making an immediate impact in a city founded in 2003 that saw its population and needs explode in just a few short years.
What began as an effort to feed and aid just a few families – first out of the trunks of cars via home delivery and then by pickup at a local grocery store parking lot – has evolved into a full-fledged resource center and food bank. On an average week, F.O.R. Maricopa, now housed in a building on the east side of town, serves 500 families, and that number is sure to continue to grow.
Though growth in the number of families it serves each week is not a goal F.O.R. Maricopa wants to see – in fact volunteers at F.O.R. have helped in doing what they can to get interviews for those finding themselves unemployed – F.O.R. has grown to meet the needs of the community in more ways than the twice-weekly food pickups.
Via a Christmas gift drive, F.O.R. was able to provide toys, clothes and other essentials for more than 1,300 area children in need last Christmas. More than 350 families received special holiday food boxes for both Christmas and Thanksgiving. More than 98,000 people were served by the food bank in 2015 alone.
None of it would be possible without the support of the community. Via a community garden, a summer food drive competition between local congregations, support at its two main fundraisers (an annual golf tournament and wine tasting) and a variety of other donations and efforts year-round, F.O.R. Maricopa has been able to keep its doors open to those in need.
F.O.R. Maricopa is a 501c3, so donations – be they food, financial or otherwise – are tax deductible.
What’s in F.O.R.’s future, you might ask? The space occupied now is utilized down to the last square inch, so the need for a larger facility is at the top of priorities in the months and years ahead. F.O.R. provides a resource hotline 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, but more opportunities, such as computer skill training for job preparation, are things F.O.R. would like to be able to expand to offering.
How can you help? F.O.R. Maricopa works with anyone and everyone – from businesses, to clubs to individuals – in finding ways people can donate time, goods or money so that your neighbors in need are getting the help they deserve. Check out our page with a list of ideas for ways to help and get involved.